Hartsholme Park – January

I finally managed to visit Hartsholme Park this morning. The (free) park is only a couple of miles away and has plenty of parking. There’s usually something going on here which is why I visit as often as I do and enjoy photographing what I can.

There were the usual candidates around, namely Canada geese and Mallard ducks.

Greylag geese were in abundance:

There were some Goosanders around that I originally thought were Great Crested Grebes. The Goosander’s beak is quite different and have less of a crest. Unfortunately they were so far away the pictures I took don’t do them justice.

Also around were some Cormorants, I haven’t seen these at Hartsholme Before. They were quite active and were fisihing for food. There were a total of three at any one time:

This time of year the Black-headed Gulls are quite prominent, although their winter plumage makes it harder to tell (the head goes white apart form a small black patch on the head behind the eye). Here they are fishing in form of the Cormorant:

A couple of Mute swans were swimming around hoping that I had some food for them:

At one point I heard a Woodpecker having a go at a tree but never saw it. A single (Grey) Squirrel was also seen but he dashed off before I could get a picture. A female Red-Crested Pochard was seen but no evidence of any male variants could be seen.

The first Heron of the year flew in and claimed his nest, this are certainly a sight to be seen as they are some of the largest birds at Hartsholme:

A solitary Tufted Duck also swimming around:

I also saw many Coots on the lake, the most ever in one visit:

I think that these birds are in the early stages of mating as I witnessed 2 birds having a fight, a third bird was trying to intervene. I had vision of 2 guys fighting over the same girl with the girl trying to stop them. The sequence below shows some of the fight:

I have to say that this was one of the best visits I have had to Hartsholme – a good start to the year!